Left to right: African-American Achievers awardees Phabie Jean and Enid Curtis Pinkney (front); Anthony Lockhart, Shaun M. Davis, JM Family President and CEO Colin Brown and Tarell Alvin McCraney.


Staff Report

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Five black South Floridians from various fields and walks of life were recently honored during the 25th anniversary of the African-American Achievers awards ceremony, sponsored by JM Family Enterprises and its subsidiaries Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus.

In recognition of this year’s milestone and the continued efforts of all of the African-American Achievers to improve the quality of life in their communities, JM Family made a contribution of $25,000 to the three South Florida-based Urban League chapters.

“Through the African-American Achievers awards, we say thank you to unsung heroes for their accomplishments and contributions to South Florida,” said Colin Brown, president and CEO of JM Family. “As we celebrate 25 years of this special program, we are grateful for the dedication of our past and present honorees. Their continued determination and selflessness is an inspiration to our community and the next generation of leaders making a difference.”

The 2017 honorees included: esteemed playwright (the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight” was adapted from his work) and professor Tarell Alvin McCraney for Arts & Culture; renowned CPA, founder and managing partner of S. Davis & Associates, P.A. Shaun M. Davis for Business & Entrepreneurism; preservationist and historian who currently directs the Historic Hampton House Enid Curtis Pinkney for Community Service; and transformative educator and principal Anthony Lockhart, Ed.D. for Education.

South Florida high school senior Phabie Jean received the 2017 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Award. Jean was honored as the Youth Achiever for overcoming so many of life’s obstacles – including not being able to speak English and moving frequently after migrating from her native Haiti – to become a student with a 5.0 GPA.

Jean was the 22nd exceptional student awarded with this honor, named in memory of 1995 African-American Achiever Jerome Edmund Gray, Esq. It includes a four-year, needs-based scholarship to Florida State University.

Created by the company’s founder and automotive legend Jim Moran in 1992, the African-American Achievers awards has recognized 152 individuals and contributed $564,000 on their behalf to approximately 130 unique non-profit organizations throughout South Florida.

This year’s special donation to the Urban League will help the organizations continue their work in the South Florida community.

“We are grateful to have a strong partnership with JM Family Enterprises and thank them for providing such a generous gift to the three Urban League affiliates in South Florida,” said Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of Urban League of Broward County.“Their support will help us continue our collective mission of empowering communities and changing the lives of children and families in South Florida.”

An independent panel of community leaders selected the 2017 African-American Achievers,including former Achievers from Miami-Dade,Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The selection committee reviewed more than 200 nominations received from throughout South Florida after an extensive public outreach campaign.